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What are my options if a former employer says I need to discharge a former patient who they claim also has filed charges against me?

Monday August 26, 2013
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Dear Nancy,

I've been asked by my previous employer, a home health agency, to do a discharge on a client. She was discontinued from their services by request of her daughter. This agency said my license could be in trouble and there are charges against me. I don't believe it. I think they are in trouble and trying to get me to work after the fact. Iím not sure whatís going on. What are my options?


Dear Nancy replies:

Dear Bethia:

The home health care agency's request is strange indeed and even more so with the comment that your license could be in trouble and there are charges against you. If that were true, it seems odd they would want you to do anything for them.

You should consult with a nurse attorney or attorney in your state who works with employees and who also knows nursing and nursing practice for specific advice as to how to handle this request. Obviously, since you are no longer an employee, there can be no adverse employment action against you. However, the agency may be trying to scare you into helping them in some way with this particular client, and if you don't, it may trump up charges against you and send those on to the Board
of Nursing.

Be sure to seek your consultation as soon as possible so that the attorney can intervene for you with your former employer's request rather than you doing so.

Regards, Nancy

Nancy J. Brent, RN, MS, JD, is an attorney in private practice in Wilmette, Ill. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal or any other advice. The reader is encouraged to seek the advice of an attorney or other professional when an opinion is needed.